/ The DC Traveler
Washington DC — By Jon Rochetti on January 1, 2010 at 5:50 am
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Top Ten Washington, DC Highlights for 2009

Happy New Year!!

Before we jump into the New Year, I thought I would list just a few of the more interesting things to do in and around Washington, DC that I wrote about in 2009.  So here’s a recap of a dozen activities (I couldn’t keep my list to just ten) based on specific interests, that you may have missed last year on PlanetEye Traveler for Washington, DC.

Museum and History Buffs can…

  • Check out the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibition at the National Geographic Museum (map it) in Washington, DC. It showcases 20 life-size terra cotta figures from China’s Terra Cotta Army, dating back to 246 B.C. (Through March 31, 2010).
  • Or take a stroll around one of my favorite monuments on the National Mall, the Jefferson Memorial. It has an interesting history and almost ending up being built in a another location.
  • Watch the emotional and moving ceremony of the changing of the guards at Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery (map it).

If you’re an Adrenalin Junkie…

  • Grab a silk scarf and goggles to take a flight in an open cockpit vintage Biplane or WW-II Warbird airplane within a couple hours drive from Washington, DC.  Try either a relaxing flight or a all out authentic aerobatic flying experience.

Nature Lovers… have multiple opportunities around Washington, DC for seeing nature at its best.

  • Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Lotus Flower 1Anacostia Park is a 37-acre park with amazing lotus and lily gardens. 
  • The plants and flowers at the US Botanical Garden bloom year-round, but during the warmer months, the outdoor flower beds are some of the most colorful in the area. 
  • And the annual explosion of color during the Cherry Blossom Festival are not to be missed.
  • White House Garden Tours occur several times a year when the grounds and gardens of the White House are open to the public for visitor tours.  Tickets to the free tours can be hard to get, but are worth the long lines. Just make sure you get tickets…no gate crashing is allowed on this White House tour. 
  • Animal lovers can enjoy a walk around one of the best zoos in the country, the National Zoo (map it). Besides all the animals you’d expect from a major zoo, the National Zoo is one of the 4 zoos in the US that has Giant Pandas.

Theater Lovers have some great plays and performances to pick from in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center, Woolly Mammoth, Shakespeare Theatre, Studio Theatre, and many, many more.  But in this economy…

  • Theater-goers can get same-day discounted (about 38% off) theater tickets to many of Washington, DC’s most popular theatrical performances at Ticketplace.  A free Goldstar membership also offers discounts on tickets to plays and events on specific Goldstar nights.

Food & Wine Lovers can…

  • Learn about starting a winery at the hands-on Weekend Wine Camp at nearby Veramar Vineyards (map it).
  • Sample some of DC’s best tapas, Mediterranean style, at Zaytinya in Penn Quarter.

I’m looking forward to discovering and writing about many more fun and unique things to do in and around Washington, DC this coming year.  So hopefully, you’ll make PlanetEye Traveler a regular source for  your activities planning during the coming year.

4 places are mentioned in this post!
  1. The headquarters of the National Geographic Society contains the Explorers
Click on the place name to learn more

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